Zwift Downhill Brakes?

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I personally don’t mind whether this is implemented or not. But please don’t make it optional / race only / whatever. I really don’t want to have to remember to ride differently depending on whether I’m in a race or a ride or what the settings for the ride are…


Totally agree. Make it the new default.

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I think people actually get off the bike for the downhill part completely. I’ve done the climb, there is no point to riding the downhill, just let the avatar roll down the hill. I’m light weight so I won’t even bother trying to go fast downhill - I won’t catch a heaver rider down ADZ.

Actually it would be interesting for ADZ, give people the inside “shorter” line but make it steeper to give you a challenge. Often the inside line is steeper in real life - so you soon avoid that.

ADH (the real one) has fairly wide hairpins in a lot of places so you don’t notice it as much as some of the more narrow and longer/harder climbs elsewhere in the same region.

I raced down the Alp today and it didn’t slow down on the hairpins.
So maybe it is still being tested.

It hasn’t been rolled out yet.


I think automatic braking would suck.

I’ve played Grand Theft Bike with a Sterzo and ridden the downhill mountain bike course, where every turn you come to you need to use skill with braking and steering to avoid coming off. It’s the balance of risk vs reward which makes it fun and this, with the brakes being wired in, would be fun.

But I don’t see the attraction of slowing me down arbitrarily when there’s no risk and no reward; I feel that’d just mess with my PBs and make going downhill less fun.

Braking is not only for downhill, I would think it has more use on flatter corners, so that you can free wheel into the corner, rest and power out of the corner.

It took me about 3 months of Zwifting to un-learn that!

I can see two downsides to this:

  1. I think it would disproportionately affect heavier riders, and I’d bet the majority of Zwifters are heavier than the average IRL cyclist, and definitely than the average pro cyclist, so you’d potentially be making it worse for the majority.
  2. The fastest person would still be the person on the inside of the pack and because most of us can’t steer, we’d have no control over that. I think you need to have that option of choosing your line, the feeling of going too fast, the risk vs reward, for braking to be fun.

But until then, I find it fun flying around corners downhill at 70km/h! :wink:

As someone who is light, I see that as balancing things out. :cowboy_hat_face:

Maybe could have brake failure if people ride the brakes too much or a wheels de-laminating (rim brake bikes).

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I think heavier riders are also more likely to have higher power and could kick out the corners better (I think)

if they are heavier for the same w/kg they should accelerate slower though

Like IRL: being heavy suck. :flushed: :grimacing: :sob:

Acceleration will surely be harder for a heavy racer. But a strong rider will be able to get to the corner first and won’t need to accelerate so much.

I think this can be done without steering and manual brakes. IRL the most important part is to be at the correct speed approaching the corner, if you are to fast you can steer all you like and still have to go wide.
So if Zwift know 20km/h is the optimal speed to hit the corner then all riders at or below 20km/h will get the best line possible.If you are over 20km/h you will get the longer line and get slowed down.

This can be optimized with steering and manual breaking to give people a slight advantage for using such equipment.

NOTE: Zwift will have to open the steering protocol so that Zwifters have only a small barrier to entry. (Keyboard buttons, Bluetooth buttons, companion app buttons and game controllers)

if you are in a big group it takes ages to slow down much after you stop pedalling, you’d have to coast for a long time without some way of applying brakes yourself.

Exactly. I used to commute home with a heavier A grade rider.

On a steep hilly section I could drop him without too much bother. But his sprint away from low speeds was 1300-1500w, no chance for me.

I’d spend the flat and downhill sections desperately hanging on.

This may be the case up to a point but this makes the assumption that weight is always proportional to power - something which I reckon will apply much more to professional cycle racers than the average Zwifter.

I bet if you looked at a graph of FTP vs weight for all Zwifters you wouldn’t see a straight line - or even a curve which levels off - you’d find something more like an off-centre bell curve, where over a certain weight the average power starts to drop.

And if you then looked at how many Zwifters were on the wrong side of that curve, you’d see the proportion which would be negatively impacted by something like this. I can’t access this data but you can and I hope it’s taken into consideration; I’d bet the number is higher than some people would think.

And as someone who thinks I’d be on the right side of that curve, I still think it would suck to lose hard-won momentum.